Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Tired of the political drama? Duke, the mayor of Cormorant, has high approval rating at LP-A school

"Awwww, he's so fluffy!" say excited students of Lake Park - Audubon Elementary when they see Duke the dog coming into their classrooms.

Duke, the Mayor of Cormorant for the third year running, made a campaign stop at the school Thursday morning to visit some of his youngest constituents.

"I'll introduce Mayor Duke of Cormorant and his owner Dave Rick," said Principal Sam Skaaland while stopping in each classroom.

After a loud applause and many screams of "he's so cute", Duke, who is no doubt one of the many weary politicians on the campaign trail these days, decides it's time to take a nap while his owner talks and answers questions the students have.

In the spirit of playing the political game, the Cormorant Committee greased the palms of impressionable, young students with donations of cookies with frosting paw prints, which they enjoyed while listening about Dukes adventures.

"Mayor Duke is famous nationwide," said Skaaland.

Duke has become well-traveled since taking office, including a trip to Chicago, where he was featured on the online version of the Steve Harvey show, Los Angeles, where he was nominated as Dog of the Year in the World Dog Awards, and he's been featured on the CW Network. He's also received many fan letters, including one from PETA and one asking to sponsor Duke as the next president. He's also been big in national print, including a couple magazines such as National Geographic and the new weekly reader of Scholastic News.

Each student at LP-A received an edition of the magazine by Scholastic News, where Mayor Duke is featured on page two.

A little snippet of the feature says, 'The Great Pyrenees goes to town meetings, though he doesn't always seem interested.'

"Sometimes he falls asleep," explains Steve Sorenson, a member of the Cormorant board.'

"People all over the world know where Cormorant is because of mayor Duke," says Tammy Odegaard, who has acted as a publicist of sorts for the hairy mayor. "He's been so good promoting the town of little Cormorant Village."

Duke is the first and only mayor of Cormorant.

The ten year old, 135-pound Great Pyrenees mayor enjoys every moment of his candidacy. He's known for having an open doggy-door policy.

"He's always on the job, and he's always approachable," laughs owner Dave Rick of Cormorant.

Elections at Cormorant happen every summer during Cormorant Days, where for the third year straight Duke has won over very prominent people, says owner Rick.

"He's even won over me!" exclaims Rick. With the use of a write-in ballot, anybody who pays a dollar has the opportunity to vote for the next Mayor in town. Last summer Duke got all the votes.

"He's been re-elected because people are so happy the way he's been running his office," laughs Odegaard.

Students are asked why Duke keeps getting re-elected and why he is so likeable. A few of the answers were: 'He's really furry!' 'He's nice to people and calm in all situations,' 'Cause he's a dog,' 'Cause he's adorable.'

The students were asked if any other candidates running for the 2016 presidency could learn something from Duke, they all screamed, 'yeah!' Skaaland asked why, to which some students say, 'Because he's likeable.'

Although Duke doesn't make important decisions, he does regulate traffic and makes a lot of calls, Rick said, laughing.

"It isn't all fun and games," adds Odegaard. "Duke is doing the work for the town of Cormorant," she adds. Duke has proven he's a dog of his word, when he and his human advisors helped raise money for the Humane Society of the Lakes.